I was performing at a theater. Acting. Costumes. Makeup. The whole nine yards. Livin’ the dream and getting paid to do it. Unfortunately, the toll of doing multiple shows a week did not agree with my vocal folds.They wanted a voice rest vacation.
The ear, nose, and throat doctor-guy informed my talking parts that they got to get the vacation they wanted: two weeks of no talking while they rested and I learned to communicate with no phonation. It was odd being at the checkout in Wal-Mart, trying to communicate with the cashier that (using gestures and read-my-lips word-mouthing) “I’m not talking.” Like an English-speaking American in a foreign land, I was treated like a non-native right there in my local Wal-Mart. She proceeded to talk louder and slower, assuming I was deaf or didn’t speak Wal-Mart-ese.
As creatives, haven’t we all been there?
We’re standing at the checkout line in life with insights and ideas we want to share, yet we can’t seem to find our voice. We stumble around, make a few mistakes, and start to feel emotionally flooded. We don’t often know how to get our creations into the world.
Do I blog? Should I tweet more? What about making a video? I gotta get an agent…
Welcome to the land of Overwhelmed. Overwhelmed-land takes us on a journey similar to a roller coaster ride: quick thrills, getting nowhere, back to where we began, no real progress.
Too many choices often leads to no choice at all. I think the glory of all this social media stuff is that we have multiple ways to express our ideas, rants, and opinions. At times, our intense desire to express them amounts to sitting in front of a television as one show bleeds into another; we watch other people’s handiwork rather than creating our own.
If you’re reading this, you are a creative. You have something to express. The only way to so it is to dive in. Right now.
Make all the mistakes you want. And keep making them. Maybe your blog posts will stink. Maybe your next ten auditions will get you nothing but rejection. Maybe your painting will never be in a gallery.
But what if your writing didn’t stink, you got the job, and your art changed how someone saw the world? What if you moved forward? What if you got off that roller coaster and took a step in a new direction? What if your movement created momentum?
“Half of the world is composed of people who have something to say and can’t and the other half who have nothing to say and keep on saying it.” Thank you Mr. Robert Frost.
You and I have a voice. Even if we don’t know how to fully use it… yet.
What do you have to share with someone today? How are you going to express it?
The sky is not the limit.